NOWPAP NEWS Third Quarter 2018


I. Regional Coordinating Unit Press Releases

II. News from the Regional Activity Centers

III. Feature Profile: Genki Terauchi on Ocean Colour Remote Sensing, Seagrass & the Shape of Waves

IV. Marine News Digest

V. Upcoming Events

VI. Explore more

VI. Contact Us

VII. Contributors

I. Regional Coordinating Unit Press Releases

UN information sharing platform speeded response to worst oil spill in Northwest Pacific

POLREP - an online pollution reporting system developed as part of NOWPAP’s Regional Oil and Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS) Spill Contingency Plan (RCP) exceeded expectations when put to use for the first time in a real incident - the January 2018 ‘Sanchi’ oil spill which took place just 160 nautical miles off the Coast of Shanghai. The POLREP system enabled both a speedy response and a timely exchange of information amidst one of the worst marine pollution incidents since the March 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off the coast of Alaska

“NOWPAP has proved to be an effective platform for exchanging information in real time, helping build a solid foundation for cooperation among NOWPAP member states” MERRAC Director Mr. Seong-Gil Kang.

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Cloud computing to speed up stocktaking of Northwest Pacific blue carbon sinks

Sea grass beds- critical blue carbon sinks that provide important habitats for marine life and help purify sea water are under threat, increasing the need to properly map and assess them. Mapping of seagrass beds supports the commitment by all nations who at the June 2017 United Nations Ocean Conference agreed to compile a global blue carbon database. One way to map sea grass is through satellite remote sensing, but unlike mapping land-based features using satellite remote sensing, sea grass, which exists under a water column comes with a unique set of challenges ie turbidity and sun glint which create noise in the images and make analysis both time consuming and costly, as images must be purchased from private satellite operators. A study conducted by the Special Monitoring and Coastal Environmental Assessment Regional Activity Centre concluded that applying this method to try and map sea grass in the entire Northwest pacific coastal zone would be unrealistic at best and recommended instead utilizing cloud computing technologies to analyze freely available multispectral satellite images with a standardized analysis procedure that has been developed by the Centre. Reducing what would have taken decades to analyse to just a few days.

“Seagrasses absorb huge amounts of carbon and are the focus of the International Blue Carbon Initiative for climate change mitigation, the International Partnership for Blue Carbon and the UN Environment-led Blue Forests Project co-funded by the Global Environment Facility.”

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Rapid growth in aquaculture threatens Northwest Pacific marine biodiversity

A study conducted by the Special Monitoring and Coastal Environmental Assessment Regional Activity Centre (CEARAC) has determined that aquaculture is contibuting significantly to major threats (alien species, habitat alteration and eutrophication caused by excessive nutrient loading) to the region’s marine biodiversity. Over the past 15 years, aquaculture in the region has increased significantly - ‘the region produced 60 per cent of the global aquaculture harvest in 2015’. Feed used for cultured fish is a major generator of eutrophication causing nutrients, as is faecal matter expelled by the fish, which additionally causes hypoxia in bottom waters. The study also determined that aquaculture was a major point of entry of invasive species which escape from farms and damage native marine ecosystems by predation and hybridization.

“Aquaculture is not a unique driver (of these three threats) in other regions; however, its impact on marine biodiversity is quite strong in the NOWPAP region.”

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NOWPAP teams with Japanese and Korean coastal cities to fight marine litter

On 18th September 2018, the Busan based NOWPAP regional coordinating unit attended the ‘Korea-Japan Coastal Cities Marine Environment Meeting’ organized by Busan Metropolitan City, where they were invited to share knowledge on NOWPAP’s decade-old experience in promoting cooperation among its member countries on fighting marine litter. The meeting was held to explore some of the ways Japan and the Republic of Korea can work together to protect their shared seas and coasts from marine litter.

Dr. Ning Liu, NOWPAP-RCU programme officer briefs meeting on NOWPAP marine litter achievements
“The governments of Japan and the Republic of Korea are implementing various initiatives to remove marine litter from beaches and coastal waters in the two countries but are concerned about litter on the high seas shared by them and are aware of the need for international cooperation to address this.”

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II. News from the Regional Activity Centers

POMRAC: Northwest Pacific countries review progress in monitoring marine and coastal pollution

A UN expert meeting organised by NOWPAPs Pollution Monitoring Regional Activity Centre (POMRAC) was held in Vladivostok, Russian Federation from 4th-5th July 2018. Discussed at the meeting were POMRAC efforts regarding alignment of regional ecological quality objectives (EcoQOs) agreed on by member states with SDG indicators; assessment of trends in river and direct inputs of contaminants affecting the marine and coastal environment in the NOWPAP region during the last decade, and microplastics abundance in river runoff and coastal waters of the NOWPAP region.

Experts gather for photo at the 15th NOWPAP POMRAC focal points meeting

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DINRAC: DINRAC was invited to attend the 2018 Global Ocean Summit

DINRAC was invited to the 2018 Global Ocean Summit held in Qingdao, China from the 3rd to 5th of July. The summit, which centered on the theme, "Strengthening cooperation in ocean observation and prediction" was organized by Pilot National Laboratory of Marine Science and Technology. Among the topics discussed were: ocean observation and prediction, deep-sea and polar research, sustainable development of the ocean, major challenges of marine science and technology, progress of the latest frontier of marine institutions and the equipment of marine scientific research. The recommendations of the 2018 Global Ocean Summit were adopted at the meeting.

Summit included participants from 101 marine institutions and 5 international organizations from 24 countries

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MERRAC: The 21st MERRAC Focal Points Meeting and the 13th Competent Authorities Meeting held in Songdo, Incheon, Republic of Korea

Experts gather for photo at the 21st NOWPAP MERRAC focal points meeting

The 21st NOWPAP MERRAC Focal Points Meeting and the 13th Competent National Authorities Meeting was held in Songdo, Incheon, Republic of Korea from the 17th to the 20th of July 2018. Amongst issues discussed were those issues related to the NOWPAP Regional oil and HNS spill Contingency Plan, particularly on the establishment of an oil sample exchange procedure and the exchange of latest information on marine pollution preparedness and response, including that on spill response activities and regional cooperations regarding the SANCHI incident.

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CEARAC: Brainstorming towards a harmonized global methodology on eutrophication and plastic debris assessment

The Experts Workshop on Marine Pollution Indicators under Sustainable Development Goal Target 14.1.1, coordinated by UN Environment with the support of IOC-UNESCO, was held on the 12th-13th September, 2018, at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France. The workshop brought together scientific experts and regional seas and earth observation specialists working on nutrient and plastics pollution in aquatic and marine ecosystems, with the ultimate goal of advancing a global methodology on eutrophication and plastic debris assessment.

Experts gather for photo outside the Experts Workshop on Marine Pollution Indicators under Sustainable Development Goal Target 14.1.1, Paris, France

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Genki Terauchi on Ocean Colour Remote Sensing, Seagrass & the Shape of Waves

By N. Miyazaki

“It was easy to access from work, and I loved the shape of the waves that place used to create”, this is how Genki Terauchi - a scientist with the UNEP Action Plan for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Northwest Pacific Region’s Special Monitoring & Coastal Environmental Assessment Regional Activity Centre (NOWPAP CEARAC) - reminisces about Kanaiwa beach in Kanazawa. A beach he spent a lot of time surfing at after graduating from Hosei University where he majored in Architecture. “Wave shape is determined by bottom topography...and other factors”.

At that time, he was working in computing for a company called I-O Data Device, Inc., that specializes in high-quality computer peripherals and interface products. A company he spent a few years with before coming across a job posting in the Japan Times looking for someone that spoke English, was good with computers, and was willing to travel a lot within the Arctic Circle. He took the job. When I asked him what appealed to him about it, he replied - “excitement”.

The job landed him at the Earth Observation Center of JAXA in Saitama Prefecture and other overseas ground stations located in the Arctic where he coordinated works to receive satellite signals from space to ground, but six months into the job there was an anomaly with the satellite they were working with, and after a further six months, the project was cancelled. While the option for him to stay was left open, he chose to return home instead. “I got tired you know, just sitting behind a desk”.

It was not long after this that his first daughter was born and he found himself at the beginning of his career with CEARAC. “There was no ad, I just called NPEC from the hospital the moment I heard the baby cry”. NPEC is the Northwest Pacific Region Environmental Cooperation Center based in Toyama, Japan - they share a Memorandum of Understanding with UNEP, and have hosted CEARAC since it was established in 1999. “I wanted a job by the ocean”, he said, “and the timing was also really good” he recalled with a laugh. A former employee was leaving, which made available a position.

Terauchi grew up in a city called Kahoku, in Ishikawa prefecture. A guidebook published by the prefecture describes it as a city “ blessed with beautiful nature...facing the scenic Sea of Japan, the Hodatsu mountain range, the Kahokudai sand dunes, the Kahokugata Lagoon, and the Omigawa River”, below the title, it reads “welcome to our city, nestled between green splendor and the sea”.

When I asked him if his interest in the ocean had anything to do with him growing up so close to it, he thought about it for a moment, “well, I remember my parents took me snorkeling a few times”, but the feeling, as he put it ,“of being connected to the sea”, that started in his early twenties when a friend who he played baseball with introduced him to surfing. “Yeah, that was what really brought me closer to the ocean”.

Now, Terauchi researches the application of ocean color remote sensing for monitoring and assessment of eutrophication. Research he began while doing a PhD at Nagasaki University under the supervision of Dr. Joji Ishizaka - a pioneer in Japan, on the use of ocean color remote sensing to study the ocean. When he speaks of Dr. Ishizaka - whom he met after he had started working with NPEC - it is with a type of reverence. “I’m really lucky that I met him” he told me. At the time, Dr. Ishizaka was studying water quality in Toyama bay and encouraged Terauchi to apply for his PhD which ended up taking seven and a half years to complete.

Eutrophication is a major problem in the Northwest Pacific region, which is where Terauchi conducts his research. In fact, according to a report recently published by CEARAC, eutrophication, along with habitat alteration and non-indigenous species have been identified as the major threats to marine biodiversity in the region. While there are various anthropogenic drivers of these threats that have been identified, aqualcutlure - which has been linked to all three, is increasingly being recognized as playing a significantly strong role, which makes sense considering the region now has one of the most active sea area aquaculture operations in the world.

It is incredibly important that we remain aware of the status of eutrophication, so that we can determine how, where and when to intervene. “One way of doing this is water sampling” he explained, “but this is costly, and anyways, so many people are already doing it”. He believes that blending multiple ocean color sensors to get a long-term data set is a much more effective way of monitoring and assessing eutrophication. Another area of work he is involved in is using remote sensing to map sea grass. A project Lev Neretin - senior coordinator of the North West Pacific Action Plan’s Regional Coordinating unit (NOWPAP RCU) - has described as, “ truly pioneering work in the region”.

Seagrasses don’t really receive as much attention as they should be considering that they are some of the most productive ecosystems on the globe, providing vital habitats and nursery grounds for a multitude of species, such as sea urchins, crabs, sea cucumbers, starfish, plus other recreational and commercial fish species. They improve water quality and clarity by trapping sediment and filtering excess nutrients. They provide food for grazers such as turtles, dugongs and manatees, and they are also incredibly important sites for carbon storage.

It is in regard to the latter that seagrass is beginning to find a spotlight under a number of global initiatives and projects. For instance, the Blue Forests Project, a four-year project initiated by the United Nations Environment programme and funded and financed by the Global Environment Facility and GRID-Arendal respectively - which hopes to fill in gaps on the value of these carbon sequestration systems. And the International Blue Carbon Initiative that is focusing on the conservation and restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems as a way of mitigating the impacts of climate change.

Seagrasses, however, cannot be protected if we don’t know where they are. This makes all our attempts to map them especially crucial, but, mapping seagrass using remote sensing is not as straightforward as trying to map for example, terrestrial features, or things easily visible on the ocean surface. “Those things are easy to detect with satellite sensors, but once it’s under the water its a little more complicated. You need to work a lot on correcting images before you analyze” he explained “for example, sometimes the sea surface is not very smooth, when the wind blows it creates roughness it bothers analysis of the images. Some images have strong reflections of light or some images are just cloudy”.

In fact, until now, one of the biggest barriers has been trying to find out how to cut down on the time and labor required to correct and analyze the images. “There are many techniques to do this and there are scientists who are working on only this - image correction!” he told me, such as atmospheric correction, which removes disturbances caused by the atmosphere that then get picked up by the satellite sensors, or water column correction, that has to do with how different information is picked up by the sensors depending on the depth the object is situated at.

Now, CEARAC uses various algorithms for correcting satellite images. “Before” he said, “ I was just using my eyes to do that screening”, but then he added, they carried out a study to see how much time and labor it would take to map the distribution of seagrass in just one small Japanese bay using conventional methods of analysis, which required buying the images from private satellite operators, collecting existing field data, preparing training data sets, applying corrections as necessary, classifying images and assessing the accuracy of the obtained classification results. They concluded that trying to map the whole Northwest pacific using this method would be nearly impossible.

“So, I googled it” he said laughing, “yeah, you’re in trouble - you google!”. This was how Terauchi came aross the study by Hansen et al. (2013), High-Resolution Global Maps of 21st-Century Forest Cover Change, that mapped global forest change over a 12 year period using data at a 30-meter spatial resolution. “I was really shocked to know that that was possible” he said flashing a wide grin “I was just looking at the nowpap sea are but theres a guy who’s done forest mapping for the whole earth, I said what kind of technique is he using and turns out he was using a tool called Google Earth Engine”.

Google Earth Engine, as is described on their website, “combines a multi-petabyte catalog of satellite imagery and geospatial datasets with planetary-scale analysis capabilities and makes it available for scientists, researchers, and developers to detect changes, map trends, and quantify differences on the Earth's surface”. Basically, a process that would have taken decades of work to complete, could now potentially be done in just a few days, and for little to no cost. “I thought ok maybe we can do something similar for mapping sea grass, and thats what we are working on right now”.

Other researchers are already looking into seagrass mapping using remote sensing though, Terauchi explained, like Nasa and WWF Germany, “we share information”. When I asked him if he thought, from what he had seen, that seagrass in the Northwest Pacific region was healthy, he replied that it really depended on the place. “A lot of habitats have been lost by coastal development. Not much is documented but im pretty sure”.

There is still a lot that remains in obscurity when it comes to seagrass, academically and with the general public. I asked Terauchi if he felt that there was a growing awareness on the importance of seagrass in the region and he replied with a resounding no! And then as if anticipating my next question he added, “especially fishermen” who ironically see the seagrass as a hinderance to their fishing activities, particularly when it gets tangled up in their equipment. When I asked him if he thought we were at least moving in that direction, he nodded and said, “well, it’s necessary”.

We did not really talk much about the other two threats being studied by CEARAC, non-invasive species and habitat-alteration. The latter came up occasionally regarding its strong link to both eutrophication and the loss of seagrass meadows, but then also, in a rather more personal and profound way. Several years ago, the seafloor of Kanazawa harbor was dredged to accommodate the passage of big ships, the sand that had been dug out, it was decided, would be relocated to Kanaiwa beach. While a group of surfers - familiar with Terauchi - attempted to protest this development through a signed petition, the project, regretfully, went on as planned.

While dredging can have its benefits, it can also be incredibly harmful to the marine environment. It can change the composition of the soil, introduce or spread contaminants - unfavorably altering the habitats of small organisms that live down on the seabed where it is easy to ignore them, and the role they play in the complicated web which supports our own lives. But it also changes things that are more immediately tangible, and therefore easier to love, especially by those communities that hold a unique knowledge of, and significantly more meaningful connection to the seas than in reality, most of us - the very type of people we need if we are to keep our oceans alive - things such as, for example, the distinct shape of a wave.

Terauchi told me that after the Kanaiwa beach incident, he was watching the surf movie Sprout by the film maker Thomas Campbell, and was inspired by the scene on Tom Wegener (renowned for hand-crafting surfboards using Paulownia wood), to start making his own wooden surfboards, something he has been doing for a while now. “I wanted to do something different” he said, referring to what had happened, “it’s easy to say but I wanted to deliver a message...that people need to pay more attention to environmental changes upstream, because those changes also influence marine and coastal environments below” and then he added cheerily, “my goal now is to make environmentally friendly surfboards using less chemicals and only locally sourced wood!”


Russian Federation

The Russian Government approved the draft Agreement on the prevention of IUU fishing on the high seas in the central part of the Arctic Ocean

A draft Agreement on the prevention of unregulated fishing on the high seas in the central part of the Arctic Ocean was submitted by the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia on August 31, 2018. The agreement, previously agreed on by representatives from the EU, Denmark, Canada, Norway, Russia, USA, China, Iceland, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, is an encouraging step towards the development of international cooperation in fisheries in the Arctic region.

“The agreement aims to prevent unregulated fishing in the high seas area in the central Arctic Ocean as part of a long-term strategy to protect healthy marine ecosystems and ensure the conservation and sustainable use of fish resources”

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Tons of Salmon Dumped in Eastern Russia After Record Fishing Season

Following a record fishing season in Russia’s Far East, the largest in over 100 years, fish farmers have resorted to dumping excess catch on the shore, along roads and in the forest. Apart from the rancid smell produced by rotting salmon, there have been warnings regarding the spread of disease, and one particular dumping area not too far from the regional capital of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky has apparently even ‘grown popular with bears’.

“It’s bad enough when there’s crop failure, but even worse when there’s too much fish...” Gennady Onishchenko, former chief sanitary doctor - Russia
Image by Brigitte Werner on Pixabay

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Japanese company spearheads land-based salmon farming

In a bid to meet growing demand for salmon locally, and possibly even globally, FRD Japan is making promising strides towards developing cost-effective land-based salmon farming. Until now, salmon farming in Japan has been limited to the colder months, similar to other asian countries that have attempted to farm the fish, and yields are often small, leaving the region dependent on imports from Chile and Norway for most of the year - the world’s two largest producers of farmed salmon - but even Chile and Norway may not be able to keep up with the worlds growing demand.

“It's impossible to farm certain fish at sea now. Salmon farming, for example, can only be done in Chile and Norway, but even in those countries only a few new licenses are being issued for aquaculture because the sea is already full of cages. Put simply, supply is not catching up with growing demand.” Tetsuro Sogo, chief operating officer at FRD Japan
'Salmon' by Takahashi Yuichi (http://www.yamagata-art-museum.or.jp) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Debris from west Japan torrential rains posing problems for sea transport, fishing

According to Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the amount of debris that has been collected from the sea following torrential rains that devasted large parts of western Japan in early July has exceeded ‘70 percent of the amount salvaged in an average year’, and this is not including the vast amounts still flowing in from rivers. The debris has been causing problems for fishermen, rupturing dragnets, getting stuck in boat propellers, and stationary fishing nets. In Kochi prefecture, fishing ships have been unable to sail out due to debris in the port and beach, and it is not only the floating items that are causing concern, but also debris that has sunk along the coast.

“A ministry official said that debris is still flowing in from rivers, and 'there is no end in sight'.”

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People's Republic of China

EU and China sign landmark partnership on oceans

The EU and China signed a ‘unique ocean partnership agreement’ on July 16th that unites the two economies in their commitments to improve ‘international governance of the oceans in all its aspects', such as the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: life below water, fighting against illegal fishing, and promoting a sustainable blue economy’ through - closer business partnerships, information sharing, and jointly working to improve ‘knowledge of the oceans via better ocean literacy, enhanced ocean observation and open science and data’.

“Across the world, I see growing awareness of the need for joint solutions to the challenges facing our oceans and seas. From cleaning up plastic pollution to tackling overfishing, no one country or continent can shoulder these colossal tasks on their own.” EU Commissioner Karmenu Vella

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In China, salmon is salmon, even if it’s trout

Chinese regulators have declared that trout can now be labeled as salmon. A declaration that comes following revelations that fish sellers in China have already been labeling trout as salmon for years. The change has been justified on the grounds that salmon and trout belong to the same family, Salmonidae, but consumers have strongly criticized the move, and remain concerned about food safety, as trout - unlike salmon that lives most of its life in saltwater - is a freshwater fish, which exposes it to parasites that can infect humans if the fish is eaten raw, such as salmon is eaten when prepared as sashimi or sushi.

“...consumers might be pleased with rainbow trout instead of salmon. In countries like Norway and Chile...'many locals prefer rainbow trout, and the price of rainbow trout is higher than that of Atlantic salmon.'” China Fisheries Association
By Knepp, Timothy - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Republic of Korea

Cast from the past: World's oldest fishing net sinkers found in South Korea

The history of fishing by nets has been pushed to almost 19,000 years earlier than previously believed after fourteen limestone sinkers - that ‘would have been tied to the bottom of nets and used to catch small fish’ - were unearthed by archaeologists excavating a cave in South Korea. These findings imply that humans from the Upper Paleolithic era were ‘using sophisticated techniques to catch fish as far back as 29,000 years ago’.

“The limestone sinkers, each weighing between 14 to 52 grammes and with a diameter of 37 to 56 millimetres, had grooves carved into them so they could be tied to the bottom of nets and used to catch small fish such as minnows in shallow streams” Han Chang-gyun, Yonsei University Museum director

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South Korea to clamp down on illegal fishing abroad

S. Korea's Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries is taking bolder steps to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing by its fishing vessels operating abroad. The ministry plans to work with other countries to crack down on IUU fishing by flag carrying vessels, and boats suspected of illegaly exporting seafood will be required to carry additional documentation. Currently, the country only allows fishing in overseas waters by registered vessels, and conducts searches at local ports on vessels deemed suspicious.

“The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said it will set up plans to tackle illegal fishing by Korean vessels in line with international guidelines to improve transparency and accountability in global fishing and seafood supply chains.”
Image by ST.Woody (愚木混株) on Pixabay

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The value of seagrass in securing a sustainable planet

Sea grass meadows, which play a crucial role in climate mitigation, supporting biodiversity, sustaining fisheries productivity and food security have been on a global decline at a rate of -7% annually since 1990. Researchers are now calling for the improvement of knowledge on the importance of sea grasses to be reflected in action; ‘greater protection for these sensitive habitats’. They believe that with good science, and political and financial will ‘sea grass meadows can thrive and contribute to ensuring our planet stays within its sustainable boundaries’.

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State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture Report Highlights Impacts of Fisheries on 10 SDGs

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) released a report in July titled ‘2018 The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture’ (SOFIA). The report shows that there has been a decreasing trend in the world’s fisheries, from 90% being sustainably harvested in 1974 down to 60% currently. While the report emphasizes SDG 14 - life below water, it also links fisheries and aquaculture to ‘nine other SDGs’ such as SDG 2- zero hunger and SDG 8- decent work & economic growth. In light of this, the report explains how fisheries development and governance has expanded its focus to include not just conservation but social aspects, welbeing and livelihoods for example, and interconnected agendas such as trade and food security. The report highlights that because the fish and aquaculture industry provides direct employment for so many, and because the global demand for fish will continue to grow, with several countries highly dependent on it to meet their nutritional needs, it is critical that we address unsustainable practices in the industry through the use of better technology, policy, partnerships and resource mobilization, and strengthen regimes tackling IUU fishing, reducing loss and waste and combating the pollution of aquatic environments and climate change.

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Website Launched for Women in Fisheries

A new website on women in fisheries has been launched as part of a study focusing on the role women play in the continuance of fishing families and the fishing industry. Data for the study is being collected from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and while ‘listening to women's stories’ is central to the research, the researchers also seeks to understand how small-scale fishing families in this region are ‘adapting to a changing environmental and economic climate’.

“Small-scale vessels make up 80% of the fishing fleet in the UK yet receive only 4% of the national fishing quota. By failing to prioritise this industry, many believe the UK government has left the communities that depend upon it vulnerable” Dr Madeleine Gustavsson, Research Fellow at the University of Exeter and head of the study.

Read more | Visit the website


Upcoming Events

9-11 Oct. Twenty-third Intergovernmental Meeting | Moscow, Russian Federation

29-30 Oct. Our Ocean Conference 2018 | Bali, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia

25 Oct. - 4 Nov. PICES-2018 Annual Meeting: Toward Integrated Understanding of Ecosystem Variability in the North Pacific | Yokohama, Japan

31 Oct. – 1 Nov. Fourth Intergovernmental Review Meeting on the Implementation of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA) | Bali, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia

26-28 Nov. Sustainable Blue Economy Conference | Nairobi, Kenya

27-30 Nov. The East Asian Seas Congress 2018 | Iloilo City, Philippines


5-9 Jan. Regional Consultative Meeting: Asia Pacific | Pulau Ujong, Island, Singapore

11-15 March Fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) | Nairobi, Kenya


Explore more

Do fish feel pain? Scientists say yes!

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Gene pollution is threatening wild salmon, can sterile farmed fish offer a solution?

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Evolution in real time? Find out how guppies evolved in just a few generations as a response to changes in predation.

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Murmansk fisherman Roman Fedorstov gives us a glimpse of bizarre deep sea creatures that find their way into his nets.

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Contact Us

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU). Toyama Office:

5-5, Ushijima-shinmachi, Toyama-shi, Toyama, 930-0856, Japan | Tel (+81)-76-444-1611 | Fax (+81)-76-444-2780

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU). Busan Office

216 Gijanghaean-ro, Gijang-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan 46083, Republic of Korea | Tel (+82)-51-720-3001 | Fax (+82)-51-720-3009


This quarters newsletter was compiled and edited by NOWPAP Environmental Affairs and Communication Intern, Nami Miyazaki.


Created with images by Charles Deluvio 🇵🇭🇨🇦 - "Japanese Calendar" • David Clode - "E. T." • LoveToTakePhotos - "sockeye salmon kenai fish wild red nature" • basuka - "guppy fish colorful color water creature underwater"

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